To many North Carolinians following the 2016 election campaign, it may have started to seem that the “fun” will never end. The campaign has been extraordinarily long, contentious and, for many, difficult to endure. Happily, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Absentee voting has already started and in-person early voting starts in less than two weeks (on October 20).
That said, with all of the controversy surrounding the election and the rules that will be used for voting, many North Carolinians – even those in the know – can be forgiven if they’re confused about where things stand.
In order to help allay public confusion, the good government watchdogs at Democracy North Carolina have distributed a helpful “Hot tips for voting” flyer that spells out all of the basics. We’re delighted to reproduce it below. You can also obtain a handy PDF version that’s useful for reproducing and sharing with colleagues, friends and family members by clicking here.
Hot tips for voting
The rules are set for 2016. Follow these basics:
- Register by 14. But if you forget, register at an Early Voting location.
- Vote early! If you wait until election Day, go to your own precinct’s poll.
- No photo ID is needed to vote, but new voters should read #8 below.
Questions? Problem voting? Call the Hotline: 888-OUR-VOTE or visit NCVoter.org.
- Register by Oct. 14. Forms are at libraries or ncsbe.gov. If you register and skip an election, you’re still registered; but register again if you move. Check your status at NCVoter.org.
- Use Same-Day Registration if you miss the Oct. 14 deadline. Go to an Early Voting site, fill out the form and show 1 of these with your name & address: a government document, pay stub, utility bill, bank statement, or student ID with a school document showing your address.
- You may register at a campus address if you view it as home OR at another address where you intend to return. A 17 year old who will be 18 on Nov. 8 can register now.
- Welcome Back. In NC, you can register like a new voter after serving a felony sentence, including probation or parole. No extra document is needed. A civil fine, restitution or misdemeanor doesn’t block your right to vote.
- ID RULES. Because of a court ruling, you do NOT need to show and ID to vote – except if you use same-day registration (see #5) or if you are a new voter in the county and your registration form was not fully verified. In that case, you will need to show one of the documents is #5 or any current photo ID.
- Vote Early to avoid possible last-minute problems. Early Voting is Oct. 20 to Nov.5. See NCVoter.org or call your county elections board for Early Voting hours and places.
- Election Day. Polls open 6:30 am-7:30 pm. Vote at your precinct’s poll, not an Early Voting For help, call 888-OUR-Vote. Lines are longest 7 to 9 am and 4 to 7:30 pm.
- Vote by Mail. Any voter may do this. See http://demnc.co/mail for a request form and the rules the rules. Follow them carefully. The request must be received (not just mailed) by Nov.1.
- Straight-Party Voting is not Mark your choice in each race. Flip the ballot over. Review your own ballot ahead of time at NCVoter.org.
- Helpful Aid. Take a list on paper or your cellphone to help you remember your choices. No photos are allowed inside, not even a selfie! If you mess up the ballot, ask for a new one.
- Assist Others. A near family member may help you vote. Voters with a disability or reading hardship may get help from anyone except their employer or union agent.
- Back-Up. If you go to the wrong precinct on Election Day or have a problem at the poll, you have a right to vote with a provisional ballot and to learn if it is counted.